Foamy waves teased the beach. There was a buzz of activities along the shore. The ancient South Indian monolithic temples towered over the clusters of tourists. The bedazzling golden sand almost stunned the landscape with its contrast against the clear sunny blue sky. Peanut-sellers, peddlers, curious urchins, cotton candy man and the black temple structures… all perfectly framed within the sky and the sea.
A lady clad in a bright yellow saree, walked upto us. She had betel-stained lips, and she wore gold bangles. Every little item on her person protested in loud colors, against her shiny ebony skin. She was a palm-reader. She insisted on predicting our futures, even though we weren’t too keen to know what was in store for us. But then again, the prospect of getting to know about the future just for a nominal fee… now, that was enticing. We eventually gave in to her beguiling smooth talks. One of us would become rich, one of us would become famous. One of us would be happy in love, one of us would be blessed with children. She said everything that we wanted to hear, in her Tamil drawl, slowly examining our palms. By the end of the exercise, we were poorer by 20 rupees.
Coarse ochre grains grazed my shins while I drew meaningless wet patterns on the sand. She sat in silence, a little way off, watching the sea in rapt awe. After a tiresome journey into the inlands of Pondicherry and red-soiled Auroville, through non-stop rains, on wobbly bicycles and septic buses, we were quite relieved to be here. We were vagabonds, both of us. In our own respective ways, of course. While one wandered within her own self, the other yearned to see the world. It was a lazy yet perfect moment.